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April 2007

Permits issued to El Dorado and industry for joint pipeline project

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has issued permits to the city of El Dorado and three local industries for the construction and operation of a joint pipeline to carry treated wastewater from each of the entities for eventual discharge to the Ouachita River.

The El Dorado Water Utilities, Great Lakes Chemical Co., Lion Oil Co., and El Dorado Chemical Co. had applied for a joint permit for a pipeline to combine their individual wastewater discharges and transport the effluent several miles to the Ouachita River. In addition, each of the participants in the pipeline project applied for an individual permit involving its existing wastewater treatment facility.

All permits issued by the ADEQ in connection with the pipeline project are effective April 1, 2007, and are subject to being appealed by any party having legal standing to do so. In accordance with Arkansas law and ADEQ administrative procedures, any person who comments for the record during the designated public comment period for a proposed permit establishes legal standing to later appeal a final ADEQ permitting decision.

The permits contain wastewater effluent limits for each facility’s treatment plant, as well as for the combined pipeline discharge to the Ouachita River, and also specify operating conditions for the facilities and the pipeline.

The ADEQ held a combined public hearing on the proposed permits at El Dorado May 18, 2006, and extended the original comment deadline by 20 days. The agency’s Water Division has spent several months reviewing technical data concerning the application and Ouachita River monitoring studies, as well as developing responses to comments submitted during the permit’s public participation process.

The most significant change in the pipeline discharge permit from the draft permit proposal submitted for comment at the hearing is the reduction of the total phosphorus concentration allowed in the effluent during the months of July through October each year. The original proposed limit of 1 milligram per liter (mg/l) has been lowered to 0.7 mg/l, calculated on a monthly average.

Copies of each of the permits issued for the pipeline project, as well as ADEQ’s response to comments, are available at www.adeq.state.ar.us/water/branch_npdes/finalpermits/finalpermits.asp.


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